Nahaz is a dota personality that has been recently increasing in popularity. He's not a professional player or a caster, but rather an analyst, a guy who employs statistics and analyses games. Nahaz is a little different from the rest of the dota personalities though, he's a 38 year old economics professor.
Dota is a game where the community calls a 27 year old player an 'old man' so being 38 makes him ancient. As an economics professor, he brings a whole lot of legitimacy to the game, in that people really can't say that it is 'just a game' when there's an economics professor talking real serious stuff about it.
In this interview he talks about a whole bunch of things related to dota and stats, which I find interesting no doubt. The parts that really got me though is when he isn't actually talking about the stats themselves but rather his own story as well as sharing his perspective on dota.
In particular, there was this part where the interviewer mentioned how many professors in Russia would consider games as a waste of time (sounds familiar) and that students should instead do other more productive things. This was Nahaz's response:
That is one thing I want to change. Honestly if there is one thing out there that I really want to fight against, I want my students, my finance students, who play dota 2, who play other similar online games, I want them to be able to walk into a job interview and say 'yeah I play that game'.
Because what is it? I mean, what are we trying to teach in business. We are trying to teach real time strategy. We are trying to teach how to make decisions under pressure. We are trying to teach how to outplay somebody. That's gaming man...the skills that we develop as players in the understanding of the game and the deep strategy involved and being able to apply that strategy in real time, if you don't think that that has a huge premium in modern business, you're crazy. This is not just a game.As a business student, strategic thinker and a dota fan, this really resonates with me. This is something I always felt about dota compared to many other games. Hearthstone is a casual strategy game with lots of luck involved, it could be compared to poker or mahjong or something. Games like maplestory and all that are just mindless fun, no purpose it's just like playing with toys but electronic.
Dota however is really a mind sport. There is great depth in skill, strategy and teamwork. It is a war simulation, and there has always been a similarity in the strategies involved in business and war.
Like Nahaz, I don't have alot of time to spend on the game but I follow it nonetheless. I take a great interest in the competitive scene and I spend more time on watching and reading about it than actually playing the game myself. After all, at my level of skill, the deep complexity of the game is not apparent and does not interest me nearly as much.
There are other interesting Nahaz talks about, like how he doesn't want to teach statistics the conventional way so he used stats about interesting things to teach his classes. Much respect to this guy.
Excited for TI5! August 3 to 8! Unfortunately I might miss the grand finals due to my event but hey, exciting!